Last week, Indiana Governor Mike Pence (R) signed SB 101 into law, the so-called “Religious Freedom Restoration Act.” Apparently, Pence was surprised at the nationwide outcry against the law and he’s adopted a defensive crouch.
SB 101 goes beyond other laws because its definition of “exercise of religion” is unlimited
This statement is the crux of the matter. As I’ve pointed out, there are no parameters set on “religious freedom.”
I am a follower of Jesus. I have gone to church all my life. I don’t remember ever being taught in Sunday school or a church sermon that Jesus wanted me to discriminate against another child of god. He said, “Do unto others as you would have then do unto you”. Simply, treat other people as you want them to treat you. How this message has been missed and violated by people who say they are Christians is something I don’t understand.
The men who signed the Declaration of Independence and Constitution and its Bill of Rights understood very well the dangerous journey that starts with a state allowing more than a church’s free exercise of religion within civil society. This nation has already taken many steps down that path. The USA is not a pure secular society. However, there is a point at which such a journey must be stopped for the good of us all.
All US citizens should take to heart the direction given to us in the Declaration of Independence. That all are given the rights of ‘life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness’. Life means being allowed to live life as best you can and allowing others to do likewise. Liberty means in part not being discriminated against. Life and Liberty taken together instruct us that our pursuit of happiness may be different than another persons, but each of us has an inalienable right to that pursuit.
I see happy same-sex and opposite-sex and mixed-race couples in good marriages with well-raised children contributing to their community living with liberty and pursuing their happiness. I see the persons not the package.
I know individuals who have been born with a self-identity they had no hand in choosing suffer and struggle because of how other people and intolerant laws treat them, make it difficult for them to live a happy life, and have the same liberty as I have.
The fearful, mean-spirited, small-minded individuals who crafted this legislation and the man who made it the law in Indiana ought to check their hearts and souls to find and eliminate all bigoted and discriminatory beliefs and their vain sense of superiority. Gentlemen, you need look no farther than yourselves to see the sinners in your midst.
The Republicans are running out of the rotten red meat they like to toss to their “base.” The true Republican Party is all about tax cuts for the rich and union busting and imperialism and warring and greater social control of the unwashed masses. Unfortunately, the masses have the franchise, so the game becomes, for the elite, how to get what we want while allowing the masses to think that they are getting what they want. The tried and trusted technique of deluding the masses (perfected by both Republicans and Democrats) is to offer them some rancid meat to chew on, while finding ways to steal all the ambrosia. This absurd and dangerous law in Indiana is all about feeding the bigotry of the “dull,” the “brainwashed” and the “unenlightened.” It’s amazing how contemptuous Republicans are of ordinary working class people. The sad thing is, on too many occasions the game actually plays out as “Conservative” victory. Hating gays and lesbians for who they are is immoral and backward; and it will do nothing to create jobs, or pay bills, or increase social solidarity. But who cares about that when one is a mindless and soulless “conservative”?